Pol Pushes Drug, Alcohol Testing for All Mass. Public Safety Workers


 
 

Dave Wedge | | Friday, April 4, 2008


BOSTON -- The battle over firefighter drug testing is headed to Beacon Hill after a lawmaker filed a bill to require drug and alcohol screening for all public safety workers in Massachusetts.

The proposal, filed by Rep. Christopher Donelan (D-Orange), requests that "public safety employees and emergency medical technicians employed by the commonwealth and its political subdivisons be required to submit to drug and alcohol testing.'' The testing would have to comply with standards set by the state Executive Office of Public Safety.

Robert McCarthy, president of the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, blasted the proposal, saying: ''We don't oppose (drug testing). But it should be negotiated at the bargaining table. It shouldn't be imposed.''

He added that he was 'shocked'' a lawmaker would file sweeping legislation without consulting the union, which represents 200 municipal fire departments statewide.

Donelan could not be reached for comment last night.

The bill comes in the wake of the deaths of Boston firefighters Paul Cahill and Warren Payne, who died battling an August blaze in West Roxbury. Sources briefed on the pair's autopsy reports have told the Herald that Cahill's blood alcohol level was triple the legal limit and that Payne had traces of cocaine in his system.

A Boston Fire Department probe of the fire found no evidence the men were impaired, but the investigation did not include a review of the toxicology results.

Asked about Donelan's proposal, Mayor Thomas M. Menino's spokeswoman Dot Joyce said: ``We continue to push for drug and alcohol testing in our contract discussions with the firefighters union. All of our other public safety agencies already have random drug and alcohol testing.''


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Operations and Protcols, Medical Emergencies

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

PulsePoint PSA, San Diego

App will allow trained San Diego residents to respond to nearby cardiac arrest c
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

California Beach Lightning Strike MCI

More than a dozen injured in Venice Beach lighting strike.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Item on Iowa Helicopter Helps Save Patient’s Life

Supply of blood recently added to LifeFlight helicopter.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Shooting Inside Pennsylvania Hospital

Early reports of one person dead in Darby hospital.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >